Before I started this blog, I never used rollerballs, I despised them, and I cursed at them for not working the way I wanted.
But since then, some things have changed, and my hate for rollerballs lessened. There's still a bit of a love-hate thing going on, but at least we're finally getting somewhere...
Now to be honest, I heard a lot of good stuff about the guys over at karaskustoms, but I never dealt with them before. A few months back I reviewed the pre-release of the Karaskustoms Cube, which was the very first time I used one of their products! Apart from the cube they sent me, I also got a retrakt, in the new 'Tu-tone' grey color, but I never got around to reviewing it. I did however, use it an awful lot (which is definitely a good sign!)
The Retrakt is a solid aluminium pen, completely made in-house (apart from the click-mechanism). The all-aluminium build makes it both strong and relatively light. The click mechanism is what they call a 'silent' knock. It's not dead-silent of course, but it's definitely quieter than your average clicky pen. Back when I got it, my only concern with the mechanism was durability, as it consists of some very small metal parts. However, after a few months of pretty frequent use, I haven't had any issues, so I'll assume it's sturdier than I expected at first. The retrakt is a little over 14 cm (5 3/5") long, and 1.1cm (a litte under 1/2") wide at the widest point. Which makes it a decently sized pen that should fit most hands.
I'm quite digging the industrial, simple design. Especially the thick metal clip is really cool, however not the most practical to attach over thicker fabric (it's rather stiff) The small knurled section above the clip adds to the industrial design, and almost has something vintage to it. The design is pretty typical for Karaskustoms, like Bauhaus looks are typical for Lamy, you could say.
New to the 'Tu-tone' version of the retrakt, is the annodised aluminum barrel, available in a variety of colors. I got the grey one, and I really like the color. My pictures don't really do the color any justice. In real life, it's not nearly as dark, and it has a slight blue-ish tint to it. The annodised finish has also proven itself to be quite tough, as it looks exactly the same as it did six months ago!
Writing experience has actually been quite good. Given the fact that I'm not a huge rollerball fan, that does say quite a lot. It came with a Shmidt Safety ceramic roller refill in black (fine). Schmidt refills are generally quite good, so no real complaints there. I definitely won't pick it over a fountain pen, but sometimes, having a decent rollerball can be quite good as well. In those occasions, I'll most likely grab the Retrakt.
A cool feature I haven't mentioned yet, is the fact that they include an extra spring and a piece of rubber tube, with which you can 'hack' the Retrakt to fit a wide array of different ballpoint and rollerball refills!
At 45 USD, the retrakt is actually quite affordable. This durable EDC pen is definitely good value for money!
Note: this pen was sent to me by KarasKustoms, so I could write this review. I was in no way influenced in the making of this review, nor was I monetarily compensated. The opinions shared in this review are completely my own!